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One desperate call to the gods...
A trilogy of fantasy books written by Gail Dayton that center around Naitan Captain Kallista Varyl. The books, The Compass Rose, The Barbed Rose, and The Eternal Rose are mostly set in Adara, a matriarchal country populated by both normal humans and naitani (Singular: naitan). In Adara, a family unit, called an ilian (Plural: iliani) is formed when a minimum or four and a maximum of twelve people in any combination or ratio of genders marry each other. Each person in an ilian is an ilias to the others (Plural: iliasti)
The first book, The Compass Rose, opens on Kallista and her bodyguard Torchay fighting a losing battle against invading forces. Kallista calls on The One in desperation and is, somewhat surprisingly for her, answered. Now, Kallista is a Godstruck naitan, the first to live in a thousand years.
Faced with learning to control this new form of magic, Kallista must also deal with Godstruck mates (by and large men she's never met before) apearing out of the woodwork. Kallista must travel with her new family into Tibre, the invading nation to confront a demon-possesed king.
This series contains examples of:
- Action Girl: All the female protagonists.
- Action Mom: By the third book, almost all the female protagonists have had kids.
- Ascended Extra: Joh and Viyelle, very minor characters in the first book, come back to become iliasti in the second book.
- Badass Family: The Varyl ilian. Even without the Godmarked magic, they are all talented warriors.
- Big Bad: Zughralithiss.
- Bodyguard Crush: Torchay to Kallista.
- Call to Adventure: Kallista's godmarked are compelled to go seek her out if they are not immediately nearby when they receive their mark.
- The Chosen One: Kallista, and to a lesser extent, her ilian.
- Combat by Champion: The whole Southern judicial system is based on this.
- Corrupt Church: The god worshipped by the rulers of Tibre turns out to be the demon Tchyrizel
- Deader Than Dead: When Stone begins to recover from the poison in The Eternal Rose, Merinda chops off his head because "he was coming back".
- Dead Person Conversation: Kallista has these with Belandra (the last Godstruck naitan), her many-times great-grandmother Domnia, and her ilias Stone.
- Defeat Means Friendship: In The Eternal Rose, two fighters literally become lovers when the Hot Chick with a Sword wins.
- Demonic Possession
- Disability Superpower: Both Fox and Gweric gain these after losing their sight.
- Divine Intervention: It's called being Godstruck.
- Dual-Wielding: Torchay weilds a matched set of Heldring blades.
- Elemental Powers: Some North and South naitans have distinct examples (Throwing Lightening and Fire, respectively).
- Fan Service: In-universe all the men are described as "handsome," "beautiful," "stunning" or some other equally impressive-sounding adjective.
- Also, pretty much each guy is a different bodytype/coloring. Hey, a girl needs her variety.
- Fetish: Some of the sex scenes involve a mild case of bondage.
- Finish Him!: The master of Obed's old School uses thi.s
- Fire-Forged Friends: Obed and Torchay.
- Functional Magic: Each naitan is born with only one gift. Unless you get Godstruck.
- North magic deals with inanimate objects and weather, i.e. lightening and wind
- East magic is related to healing, growing, and new beginnings
- Southern magic is "of the hearth and home." Some examples are baking bread that lasts longer than normal and throwing fire. Yea, real homey.
- That would probably count as "hearth".
- West magic deals in "mysteries." It was more or less wiped out in the last hundred years, but it largely seems to deal with death and intangible things like telepathy
- Healing Hands: Many East naitans exhibit this, and Kallista develops it after becoming Godstruck.
- Heroic BSOD: Kallista has one when Stone dies
- Hot Chick with a Sword: Almost all the female protagonists know or learn how to fight, and they're all drop-dead gorgeous
- Ho Yay: Joh and Fox share quite a kiss in The Barbed Rose. They were forced into it, but it's implied that the men of the Varyl ilian sometimes indulge in each other
- It's stated elsewhere that there is no reason an ilian cannot be entirely male (or female)
- I Will Protect Her: Starts with Torchay and just escalates from there as each ilias is added. The ladies tend to do pretty well by themselves, but the men are definitely a wee bit protective.
- Iron Lady: Serysta Reinine. Also, General Uskenda
- It Sucks to Be the Chosen One
- Lady Land: Adara is a Matriarchal society. All young Adarans serve in the military, but men are rarely promoted as officers. Women are also more likely to be naitani than men.
- Law of Inverse Fertility: Played straight doubly so: Kallista has sex once each with Stone and Torchay in a single night in The Compass Rose. Not only does she get pregnant with twins, but each of the two men fathered one of the twins.
- Aisse, infertile because she was raped at a young age, has sex with Fox once and still conceives a child.
- Love Dodecahedron: Just... the Varyl ilian. With eleven adult members if you choose to include Merinda they are a very literal example
- Magical Abortion: Merinda considers this when she realizes how dangerous life with the Varyl ilian can be.
- Magic Genetics: The way one becomes a naitan. It's supposedly a gender-related trait as more women become naitani than men.
- Mama Bear: We strongly recommend you not mess with the children. Due to the natures of an ilian, and this one in particular, you will have to deal with not one Mama Bear, but four
- Mars and Venus Gender Contrast: Kallista often grumbles about the sensitive pride of men, or their inability to listen.
- Morning Sickness: Kallista suffers during The Commpass Rose and is followed by Merinda in The Barbed Rose
- No Periods, Period
- Only a Flesh Wound: Torchay gets gutted pretty frequently, but he gets better.
- Orgasmic Combat: Kallista's magic feels really really good when she calls it from her Godmarked mates. Even in battle.
- Our Demons Are Different
- Papa Wolf: See Mama Bear above, but instead of four, there are six Papa Wolves.
- Playing with Fire: this is the magic of some South naitans.
- Polyamory: Iliani.
- Pregnant Badass: Kallista spends most of the second half of The Compass Rose pregnant, but that doesn't stop her from crossing an ocean, infiltrating hostile territory, getting captured, assisting in her own rescue, and killing a false god. Badass indeed.
- Power Trio:
- Torchay as the id
- Obed as the super-ego
- Kallista as the ego
- Resigned to the Call: Eventually, Kallista's attitude moves toward this. It gets worse again when she's selected to be the next Reinine
- Screaming Birth: Averted. Aisse is silent while giving birth to Niona because she knows bandits are nearby.
- Shirtless Scene: Played straight with most of the male characters. Subverted with Obed, who's extremely uncomfortable unless he's completely covered.
- Shock and Awe: Some North naitani.
- This is also Kallista's original magic, before becoming Godstruck.
- Spirit Advisor: Bellandra, and to a lesser extent, Kallista's ancestor, Domnia.
- Sword Fight: Too many to count.
- True Companions: The Varyl ilian, also including Gweric.
- Unwanted Harem: the Godmarked start out as this for Kallista